Brooklyn Today March 16: Bedford-Union Armory Redevelopment Moves Forward
Weather, Brooklyn (NWS): Day 43°, Night 28°, Mostly Sunny then Partly Sunny and Breezy
THE LEDE: Happy Friday, Brooklyn! The Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment progresses, Brooklyn’s losing its churches, and state Sen. Brian Kavanaghhas some sharp words for the GOP. Plus, a pedestrian bridge in Miami collapses, Dylan Roof’s sister gets arrested, and Conor Lamb’s victory signals trouble for Nancy Pelosi. Finally, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince compares Iran’s supreme leader to Hitler, Rolling Stone interviews rapperMeek Mill in prison, and the Toys ‘R’ Us franchise is closing for good. Have a great weekend.
IMPRINT: Jennifer Lopez poses in pink on the April cover of Harper’s Bazaar.
~KAVANAGH SLAMS SENATE GOP FOR HOLDING BQE REPAIR BILL HOSTAGE: In a dramatic confrontation in Albany on Wednesday, state Sen.Brian Kavanagh demanded that Senate Republicans explain why they were holding hostage a bill crucial to Brooklyn — and the entire metro area — in the budget negotiation process. The bill in question would authorize “design-build,” a quicker, cheaper method to carry out the upcoming $1.8 billion rehabilitation of a decrepit length of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. While the Assembly bill authorizing design-build is clean, the sponsor of the Senate bill, state Sen. Marty Golden, included last-minute add-ons that will likely snarl its passage. The add-ons require the city to assign a police officer to every school, and that money saved by the measure must be turned over to MTA. “Is this an example of the Majority — if they don’t get their way on a certain policy issue, however legitimate — suggesting perhaps it’s time for traffic problems in Brooklyn, to borrow a phrase from New Jersey?” Kavanagh asked Sen. Cathy Young, chair of the Finance Committee. Kavanagh was referring to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s infamous George Washington Bridge lane scandal, known as Bridgegate. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~BROOKLYN IS LOSING ITS CHURCHES: St. Rosalia Church in Dyker Heights, a frequent spot for community events even after it stopped celebrating mass in 2016, is set to be torn down. A February church bulletin to parishioners said that the church is in the process of being sold by the Brooklyn Diocese for funding issues, and it will be offered as an empty lot. Now, “The Diocese has hired a broker to receive offers to buy the property,” wrote Monsignor Ronald Marino. “It will be sold without the church building on it.” In October, Brownsville’s Our Lady of Loreto had a mock funeral after it was quickly demolished, turning a century of history into rubble. The Landmarks Preservation Commission said it’s currently reviewing a request to evaluate St. Rosalia’s landmark status, at least temporarily halting any changes to the structure that was established in 1902. (via Brooklyn Reporter and Brooklyn Eagle)
~BEDFORD-UNION ARMORY REDEVELOPMENT MOVES FORWARD: Over a century after it was built and past years of controversy, the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights is on its way to redevelopment with 250 affordable housing units. The New York City Economic Development Corp. filed with the Department of Buildings to redevelop the armory with a mid-rise tower and recreational center. In total, the development will contain 415 apartments, with 250 rent-regulated and reserved for low-income tenants, more than originally planned. The recreation area will hold a community event space, office space, medical center, swimming pool and other amenities. The city has been trying to redevelop the area since at least 2013 and has been met with constant opposition from community members throughout the process. (via Brownstoner)
~OFFICER RECALLS WALKING IN ON BLOODY SCENE OF 6-YEAR-OLD’S DEATH: At the Brooklyn Supreme Court murder trial of a man accused of stabbing two young children over two dozen times in a public housing elevator, an NYPD detective recollected the day when he arrived at the bloody scene.Daniel St. Hubert, 30, is on trial for second-degree murder, attempted murder, assault and weapon possession for allegedly wielding a steak knife and stabbing then 7-year-old Mikayla Capers and 6-year-old P.J. Avitto in their building’s elevator, killing Avitto. At about 5:50 p.m. on June 1, 2014, then Officer Ryan Tobin, who has since become a detective, and his lieutenant were radioed about a stabbing at East New York’s Boulevard Houses, a block away from their patrol. When they arrived, a crowd was already gathered around the bleeding Capers who had previously crawled her way out of the elevator where Avitto died. Tobin then told jurors he ran into 857 Schenck Ave. to see an elevator door propped open. “The elevator was open, there was a little boy, there was a pool of blood and he appeared to be dead,” Tobin said. “I just remember there was a large pool of blood that really caught my attention.”(via Brooklyn Eagle)
LONG READ: “How a Ransom for Royal Falconers Reshaped the Middle East” (via NYT)
ANOTHER LONG READ: Behind Bars: An interview with incarcerated rapperMeek Mill. (via Rolling Stone)
POLITICS: Conor Lamb’s victory in Pennsylvania signals trouble for Nancy Pelosi. (via The Atlantic)
EAT: From toasted grasshoppers to bacon wrapped plantains, try signature foods from all 30 MLB ballparks this April at the MLB FoodFest. (via Time Out)
NATIONAL BULLETIN: The Toys ‘R’ Us franchise is closing for good…A pedestrian bridge in Miami collapses, leaving several dead…And Dylann Roof’s sister gets arrested for bringing weapons to school. (via Time, Miami Herald and NPR)
FOREIGN FLASH: Summer in the eastern Mediterranean will be two months longer by 2100…Saudi Arabia’s crown prince compares Iran’s supreme leader to Hitler…And the U.S., France and Germany join the U.K. in blaming Russia for poisoning an ex-spy. (via USA Today, NYT and Telegraph)
ROYAL WATCH: Meghan Markle receives fashion advice from Kate Middleton. (via Entertainment Tonight)
10:00AM – 6:00PM — Bordering the Imaginary: Art From the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Their Diasporas at BRIC House. Details.
10:45AM — French for Little Ones at 1 John St. Details.
2:00PM – 6:00PM — Hand Luggage at Open Source Gallery. Details.
6:30PM — Musical Shabbat at Bay Ridge Jewish Center. Details.
6:30PM — “Spirit of the Irish” Candlelight Ghost Tour at Merchant’s House Museum. Details.
7:00PM — !Sí Se Puede!: Pioneers of Chicano Cinema at BAM Rose Cinemas.Details.
7:30PM — Cellular Songs at BAM Harvey Theater. Details.
7:30PM — Demi Lavoto & DJ Khaled at Barclays Center. Details.
7:30PM — Singular Extreme Actions at STREB Lab for Action Mechanics.Details.
8:00PM — Claddagh Featuring The Prodigals at On Stage at Kingsborough.Details.
EAGLE SPORTS: The Nets made their biggest splash of the offseason with the late June acquisition of mercurial guard D’Angelo Russell. And now it’s finally time for Russell to splash back, if you will. Russell, who is coming off his best performance as a Net and one that brought the Barclays Center crowd to its feet time and again during Tuesday night’s loss to Toronto, needs to step up now and be the leader Brooklyn needs going forward. Through the better part of his first full season as a Net, Russell has only shown brief flashes of being the type of player that can lure big-time free agents to Brooklyn. Russell has 14 games remaining, beginning with tonight’s tilt against visiting Philadelphia, to prove he can at least be the Nets’ front man for this final month. He is averaging 17.8 points and 4.7 assists while putting in nearly 30 minutes of court time per night through his first six games in March. “There is a lot of opportunity here,” Russell said. “It’s an organization that is on the rise. No one really knows what the organization is about. I feel like with the staff we have and the players that we have, we can work together to make it something.”(via Brooklyn Eagle)
Happy birthday to Bernardo Bertolucci, Erik Estrada, Judah Friedlander, Victor Garber, Lauren Graham, Blake Griffin, Todd Heap, Alice Hoffman, Isabelle Huppert, Kate Nelligan, Alan Tudyk and Chuck Woolery!
Brooklyn Today’s editor is Scott Enman. Contact him at[email protected].